The 2024 Paris Olympic Games marks the tennis tournament's return to the volatile but visually magnificent backdrop of the clay tennis court for the first time in over three decades. 

Before the first ball bounces in the City of Light, NBC Olympics looks back to the last Summer Games held on clay courts: The 1992 Barcelona Olympics. 

Before the 1992 Games, the last time the Olympic tennis tournament was held on clay was 1924 in Paris. The sport had seen significant changes in those 68 years, not only in court strategy and equipment advances but most notably, the ushered–in Open Era, when the doors of the tennis scene busted wide open, as professionals were finally provided the opportunity to compete with amateurs at the games' most illustrious tournaments, the grand slams.  

The Olympic tennis tournament was held at the Tennis de la Vall d'Hebron in Barcelona, a private tennis club in the Catalan capital that served as the battlefield where players burnished their legacy on the clay courts. 

Men's singles

Marc Rosset of Switzerland, the eventual champion in men's singles, entered the tournament ranked No. 44 globally, unseeded and not favored to win.

Rosset sailed through the first few rounds of the Olympic tournament and swiftly dismissed the world-ranked No. 1, American Jim Courier in the Round of 16 (6-4, 6-2, 6-1). Rosset faced a determined Emilio Sanchez of Spain in the quarterfinals, who pushed the Swiss to a fourth set. Rosset defeated Sanchez (6-4, 7-6, 3-6, 7-6). 

In the final, Rosset faced another Spaniard, Jordi Arrese. The pair's first and only meeting before Barcelona was in 1990, where Rosset dismissed Arrese in two quick sets. However, by 1992, Arrese had climbed the rankings ladder, sat 14 spots ahead of Rosset in the rankings, and was seeded No. 16 for the Olympic tournament. Barcelona was advantageous for Arrese, as he grew up training on clay courts and would indeed have the crowd behind him. 

Rosset took the first two sets, but Arrese began to battle back by the third and took the following two sets. The last set was a thriller, and the pair tied at six games apiece before Rosset finally found his momentum and won the last two games, ultimately winning the match (7-6, 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 8-6). Upon his winning shot, Rosset immediately fell back to the ground in relief and quickly covered his face with his hands in perhaps disbelief at his victory.

Rosset made history in that tournament when, at age 21, he became the first Swiss tennis player to win a gold medal. 

Women's singles

In 1992, Germany's Steffi Graf dominated women's tennis. By 1992, Graf, had already captured 10 Grand Slam titles and was the defending Olympic women's singles champion. Graf entered the Barcelona Games as the No. 1 seed and favored winner but a young newcomer named Jennifer Capriati, an American still on the cusp of greatness, shook up the tennis world that summer. 

At age 16, Capriati, while still in the callow state of her career, had finally cracked the top 10 in rankings. By the start of the Olympics, Capriati already had an incredible 1992 season and reached the quarterfinals at the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon. But she had yet to capture a crowning title at a grand slam. Capriati rode the momentum of her deep runs at the slams to the Olympics. The 16-year-old floated into the semifinals without dropping a set.

Capriati faced the "Barcelona bumblebee," Arantxa Sanchez Vicario in the semifinals. Sanchez Vicario, seeded No. 2., was a hometown hero at the tournament and drew quite the crowd, including Spanish nobility. King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia attended the match. After taking the first set and losing the second, Capriati took the third set definitively and defeated the Spaniard (6-3, 3-6, 6-1).  

Capriati took on Graf in the final, who had never lost a match at the Olympics. Graf won her first trial in the Olympics at just 15 years old at the 1984 Los Angeles Games, where tennis, not formally an event, held a demonstration. Graf followed her first Olympic victory at the return of tennis to the Olympic program in 1988, where she took the gold in Seoul. Before Barcelona, Capriati faced Graf four times on the court and lost each time.  

The women's singles final match started as expected when Capriati lost the first set. But Capriati found her rhythm in the second set, and relied on her power from the baseline to take the second set. In the third, Capriati continued her power shots to strategically exploit Graf's backhand and pushed her game enough to notch out the final set and match against Graff (3–6, 6–3, 6–4). 

After the Olympics, Capriati's career would see a downtick in victories, and it wasn't until the 2001 Australian Open that she finally lifted her first slam trophy. That year, she won the Australian and French Open and successfully defended her Australian title in 2002.  

Capriati's victory marked the first gold medal for the United States in the women's tennis singles event since 1924 and started a trend for Americans. Capriati's compatriots Lindsay Davenport and Venus Williams captured gold in women's singles at the two Olympic Games after her. 

Men's doubles

Boris Becker and Michael Stich, both from Germany, were incredible tennis players in their own rights. By 1992, Becker had already collected eight of the nine grand-slam trophies he would win throughout his career, and Stich was the defending Wimbledon champion. 

Both had entered the Olympics with dreams of a men's singles gold medal but saw early dismissals. Stich was bounced out of the tournament in the second round and Becker in the third. They entered the doubles tournament and were seeded sixth out of only eight teams. 

Despite being seeded in the bottom three teams, Becker and Stich made it to the final. In the gold medal match, the pair defeated South Africa's Piet Norval and Wayne Ferreira (7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 6-3). Stich and Becker took home their first and only Olympic medal, and their win marked Germany's first medal in the men's doubles event. 

Women's doubles

The women's doubles final was a Fernandez affair. Americans Mary Joe Fernandez and Gigi Fernandez, who are not related, were seeded No. 2 in the tournament. Mary Joe had already earned her first medal of the tournament—a bronze in women's singles—but was determined to win gold. 

The pair dominated their half of the draw and punched their ticket to the final without losing a set. 

The Fernandez's faced the hometown favorites, Spain's Conchita Martinez and Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, in the final. The Americans secured the first set thanks to a second double fault from Sanchez Vicario. But after leading 2-1 in the second set, the King and Queen of Spain arrived and threw off the Fernandezs' win streak. They lost the second set and dropped six games in a row after the arrival of the monarchy. In the third set, the Americans again found their footing, and defeated the Spaniards (7-5, 2-6, 6-2).

Barcelona wasn't the Fernandezs' last Olympic title; they also won gold at the 1996 Atlanta Games.